Fly Tying · On the Vise

On My Vise: Hare and copper (with a little squirrel tossed in for good measure) 

What is it about the hare and copper that makes it so attractive to trout?

Does it look like anything?

Or is it simply because it in fast water it looks like everything?

Hare and Squirrel Copper

Wait.. Maybe they mistake it for a caddis?

hmm.. maybe not?

Or Maybe in the fast moving land of trout-down-under. An impressionistic fly really is all you need to spark the interest of a big lazy trout waiting for a meal to pass his way.

Impressionistic flies have a big section in most of my fly boxes. And when I am fishing nymphs in fast water, the hare and copper is a fine choice. Sometimes I will mix some flash into the thorax dubbing.

Even lifting the rod at the end of a riffle and letting it drift into the slower water for a second before taking another cast can produce a nice fish.

Like this guy.

Oh hayyyy!

Who just couldn’t help himself while we were out.

So maybe its luck?

Maybe its good timing?

Or maybe the sight of that fat little mess floating down river at a high rate of speed really is just too much for a trout to handle.

While we may never know what makes it such a fish catcher, what we do know is that it’s one of those staple patterns that we shouldn’t be without.

Hare and squirrel copper

Hook: Nymph Hook with ample room for the bead  (for me I tie them in a size 10-16)

Extra Weight: Lead or lead substitute (optional) depending on how heavy you want the fly

Bead: Tungsten to match

Tail: Longer fur and guard hairs cut from hares cheeks(save that extra underfur)

Body: Hares mask underfur left from the cheeks mixed with squirrel guard hairs.

Thorax: Squirrel Guard Hairs

Ribbing: Copper Wire

Save the extra underfur!

Not sure why but I have found that the cheeks are a somewhat neglected area of a mask. I’ve seen people about to throw them out because they have better use of other areas. 😢 save them!

When I was in need of a yellow stonefly dubbing, after only finding pre packaged ones that I wasn’t happy with, I grabbed a bleached hares mask.

 I took the underfur from the cheeks, guard hairs, added a few more ingredients, tossed it in the coffee grinder and there you have it!

Underfur from the cheeks, and other materials mixed up in the grinder

When you also keep in mind how many different colors a hares mask can come in, you will see just how many custom dubbing blends you can make from them by using those sometimes neglected cheeks.

If you don’t already have a hare and copper in your fly box, grab a mask, add a few and give them a try!

Happy tying!

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